HSI Security Cameras and Your Home

So you’ve decided to ensure your – and your family’s – safety and security by installing some cameras in and around your home; congratulations on the important step towards your piece-of-mind! Now comes the tricky part of making sure you have the right equipment for your needs. Our team at HSI Security sat down and came up with this list of considerations and tips.

How many security cameras should a home have?

This depends on the square footage of your home and what you’re trying to observe. For most average-sized homes we suggest four to six outdoor cameras. We would also recommend considering another one in the garage or down the laneway if you are on a farm or acreage.

How hard is it to install home cameras?

It’s not really about the level of difficulty; what matters is the quality of the installation. Utilizing journeymen electricians we can conceal wiring and make sure you don’t have any excess holes to plot and pull wires to your cameras and devices. The last thing you want is wires strung across your living room or holes in your drywall all over your house. It also really helps to have a trained professional doing the programming and automation. Also keep in mind that any installation from HSI includes a five-year warranty on all Hikvision cameras, recorders, and components!

What is the resolution does one need in a home security camera?

We suggest a minimum 4MP camera on most installation. While 4K video has become affordable, the quality and price point of 4MP falls in the sweet spot, and we see these more as the base standard for most installations

There are a lot of camera options available. Which types of security cameras are best for home use?

We all agree that a turret camera possesses a nice form factor with its smaller profile, wider angle of the lens, and better IR distance. It also holds an IP67 water-resistance rating (you can hose them off if they get dusty). AND they can come in many different colors!

Traditional dome cameras do have their place but usually are used in low light or indoor setting as they tend to get dirtier and are more difficult to clean than turrets. Keep in mind, they are the most cost-conscious option out there.

Bullet cameras are great for long tight angles, such as looking down a laneway to see who is coming down the road. These cameras can have extra long IR vision and a huge option for mechanical zooms (up to 2.2 miles away) but have a much larger form factor than the turrets and domes.

What is Field of View, and why is it important?

That’s the angle in which you can see things. Everyone assumes that wider angles are better, but that’s not the case. If you’re trying to grab a great view of the inside of your barn, you want a nice wide-angle like the 107 degrees or a 2.8mm lens. On the other hand, if you want to be able to see down a long laneway you will need a tight angle with some distance without compromising quality. In that case, a 10 mm lens would be best. The third option would be to add a varifocal lens which lets you zoom in and out.

What are some useful features to look for in a home security camera application?

There is a lot to consider when purchasing cameras for your home, and this is one spot we really like to sit down and do a consultation and walkthrough of the space. But some items to consider include:

  • Storage space
  • Object counting
  • Face detection
  • Intrusion detection
  • Object counting
  • Line crossing detection
  • Motion
  • Facial recognition
  • Thermal imaging
  • 4K video
  • Smart AI
  • Remote connection and access
  • UPS (battery backup)

What do you recommend for storage?

We suggest a minimum of 1TB per four cameras using Onboard NVR.

What sort of alerts makes the most sense?

Again, this is going to depend on a variety of factors, but the most common include line cross, thermal imaging, object detection, and accusense (which tells you if it’s a person, vehicle, or general motion).

Is night vision important?

We feel so strongly about this that HSI Security has night vision on all our cameras. The distances go from five meters to 50 meters and then you can add darkfighter to cameras. Darkfighter is amazing, Hikvision Darkfighter cameras are an industry-leading solution for ultra-low light technology. Typically able to provide full colour images up to 0.002 lux, and black and white up to 0.0002, Hikvision Darkfighter cameras are great for any low-light scenario. What that means is on a moonless, cloud-filled night you get color images without night vision.

What is PTZ?

PTZ is an acronym for “pan, tilt, zoom”. It is a reference to the range of motion that allows you to move the camera around remotely or have it set up with auto-tracking or hunting features.